Government and industry can encourage ZECV adoption through incentives that don’t provide immediate financial dividends, but may make using the ZECV easier to use and thereby more attractive to fleets. Strategies such as establishing loading zones for zero-emission trucks, reserving or enabling access to priority roadways for zero-emission transit buses, or simply investing in publicly available charging infrastructure may improve fleet uptake of ZECVs and spur growth and innovation in the ZECV industry.
Green Loading Zones
Reserving curbside spaces for zero-emission trucks would make deliveries more efficient and profitable for fleets operating ZECV by avoiding time lost trying to park or stuck in traffic. Alternately, delivery fleets often incur enormously expensive parking fines as a matter of business in many cities because they are illegally parked while making deliveries. Zero-emission loading zones would allow drivers of zero-emission trucks to park legally and avoid fines.
- Oslo’s low emission zone inspired logistics company DB Schenker to develop its own zero-emission loading zone that will receive cargo and make deliveries in the restricted section of town with all-electric carbo bikes and delivery vans (source link) (news link).
- A study performed for New York state’s energy office found that “green loading zones” in New York City could cost-effectively promote ZECV adoption and help achieve the city’s air quality and GHG goals (source link).
Vehicle Registration Controls
In areas with high levels of pollution and congestion, cities have restricted new vehicle license plate registrations, thereby limiting the number of vehicles on roads. Old vehicles may be able to transfer plates to new vehicles, encouraging the uptake of new, cleaner vehicles. Prioritizing or waiving limits on ZECVs creates a strong incentive for fleets to adopt ZECVs for immediate deployment.
- The City of Beijing restricts new registrations through a lottery that residents must enter for a chance to win one of a small number of new license plates (news source). The City of Shanghai similarly restricts new plates but distributes them through an auction (news source). Both cities exempt New Energy Vehicles, which include ZECVs.
Preferential Consumer Access or Reserved Lanes
Transit buses operate most efficiently with dedicated lanes that help improve reliability and performance. Allowing zero-emission transit buses to access reserved lanes will help demonstrate the efficacy ZECVs on the most prominent routes and will help further achieve a city or transit agency’s GHG and air quality goals. Transit operators may also be able to provide other enhanced services, such as free ridership on zero-emission lines or access to multi-modal hubs to increase zero-emission mobility.
- Santiago, Chile has created one of the world’s largest all-electric transit lines with an electric charging hub and dedicated multi-modal facilities at passenger stops. The line, served through partners BYD and local transit operators, accommodates over 600,000 residents per day (source link).
- Seattle has created physical space on the city’s roads for buses, including a downtown bus tunnel, that will showcase the city’s conversion to all-electric transit buses by 2034 (news link).
- Bogota’s extensive bus rapid transit system, which creates separate lanes to ensure timeliness and performance, is adopting hybrid and all-electric transit buses (academic link).
- The City of Madrid operates a “Zero Line” of two all-electric bus routes that traverse the city. The bus line, which was established to meet air quality directives, will be operated free of charge to passengers, but does not operate separated lanes (academic link).
Government Charging Investments
Though government incentives have helped reduce the purchase price of new HECVs, improving the availability of charging would also improve the costs and ease of adopting ZECVs for fleet operators. Corridor charging may benefit vehicles with longer ranges and less predictable routes, hub charging may benefit vehicles with predictable, urban routes that do not have access to or cannot afford to wait and charge when idle, and depot charging may benefit vehicles with predictable routes and parking behaviors that can charge for longer periods of time.
- New York state is installing a series of up to 200 high-speed charging stations along the New York State Thruway travel corridor and across the state; the chargers can produce 150 kilowatts of direct current (source link).
- Shenzen’s transit operators installed extra capacity for its all-electric fleet, allowing its vehicles to charge regularly without incurring high demand charges (academic link).
- A network of stakeholder on the U.S. West Coast came together to identify the most valuable locations for high-power charging and fueling locations. The network produced a report with recommended stations by type and location as part of a funding request (source link).
- The United Kingdom’s Department for Transport is working with local and private stakeholders to identify ways to improve charging access and hydrogen station installations in towns and localities across the nation. The government will provide 500 million pounds to support installations through 2025, including funding for Rapid Charging (source link).
- The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association has requested that the European Union set standards and invest in sufficient charging and fueling infrastructure to service the number of ZECVs that will be needed to meet the E.U.’s climate goals (source link).
Industry Charging Investments – High Speed Charging
Automakers, charging service providers, or other stakeholders may look to concurrently develop the light-duty and commercial EV market by developing in high-speed charging infrastructure, typically in excess of 100 kilowatts. Industry investments in high-visibility charging locations can create greater confidence in the technology and the availability of charging for light-duty customers, and the higher wattage will allow ZECVs to use these stations as opportunity chargers.
- Ionity, a joint venture between major American and European automakers, is installing a network of 400 high-speed charging stations along travel corridors in Europe (news link).
- Electrify America, the EV infrastructure company born out of the VW Settlement, is installing a series of 150 kilowatt corridor and hub charging stations across the United States (source link).
- Automakers including Hyundai, Nikola, and Toyota are investing in a network of hydrogen fueling stations to support the fuel cell trucks that will complete deliveries for several of Switzerland’s largest retailers (news link).
- Indian company Charge+Zone operates more than 100 DC fast charging stations capable of charging at 150 kilowatts. The company, which is registered through incubator programs as a member of Start Up India, aims to expand the number of charging stations to over 1,000 with a primary focus on trucks, buses, and other commercial vehicles (news link).